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Movie studios revive the RIAA's "making a copy" equates to "stealing one copy" argument

The RIAA and music labels gained a bit more notoriety when one of its associates, Sony BMG's head of litigation Jennifer Pariser, remarked during a case, "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'."

Now the MPAA, which typically follows closely in the RIAA's footsteps, is suing software maker RealNetworks and making similar remarks.  In a similar mentality, which some say punishes the paying customer,
Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, the Walt Disney Company and Sony have all filed suit against the company, which claims it only wants to provide content owners with a means of backing up their DVDs.

Greg Goeckner, executive vice president and general counsel for the Motion Picture Association of America, says that users shouldn't get to copy their DVDs -- even those they own.  He states, "RealDVD should be called StealDVD.  RealNetworks knows its product violates the law, and undermines the hard-won trust that has been growing between America’s moviemakers and the technology community."

Seattle-based RealNetworks found itself targeted after it released its RealDVD software, available for $30.  RealNetworks is no rogue operator -- rather it’s the software giant behind the RealPlayer software and the Rhapsody music subscription service, the second largest legitimate online music retailer.  Nonetheless, it found itself the target of the MPAA's aggressive campaign, which seeks to block any private DVD reproduction. 

RealNetworks is standing tall against the MPAA and blasted back in a tersely worded statement Tuesday.  The statement read, "We are disappointed that the movie industry is following in the footsteps of the music industry and trying to shut down advances in technology, rather than embracing changes that provide consumers with more value and flexibility for their purchases."

RealDVD conforms to all Hollywood’s rules on DVD protection by encrypting the digital copies.  This is intended to prevent filesharing.  Still, studios claim the program violates the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, an all-reaching act used for everything from web takedowns to filesharing cases.  The studios say that by overriding anti-copying mechanisms on the DVD, RealDVD is breaking the law.  The studios are seeking an injunction to prevent the program's sales.

A frustrated RealNetworks fired back with a countersuit of its own against the studios in a federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday.

This case will like bear major ramifications on the movie industry, and DailyTech will be following it closely.



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By rcc on 10/2/2008 3:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
Allow me to be today's "holier-than-thou, do-gooder". No, sh*tty unjust laws are not made to be broken. They are, however, made to be changed. If you don't like it and it's that important to you, get off your tail and work at changing it.

Our system is set up so that anyone with the will, and the support of a group of people, can change the way laws are written. The problem is that most people today can't be bothered, they just whine, and sometimes steal, then try to justify it. So, the only ones driving the laws are those trying to make money at something.

Who was it that said that democracy is the only system where you get exactly what you deserve? Or, a republic for that matter. : )


By myhipsi on 10/3/2008 8:57:31 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly, if people had to "get off 'their' tail and work at changing it" as you suggest, then nobody would have the time nor the money to do anything else, like work a job, raise a family, and have a life. I'm sorry but as much as your suggestion sounds good in principle, it's not practical unless we're talking about something serious like human rights abuses, etc.
If enough people break unjust laws, then they cannot be enforced and must eventually be revoked or at the very least ignored. These days with corporate lawyers, and off-the-charts collusion between corporate lobbyists and government, your chances of actually changing the law as an individual with money and lawyers is slim to none and if you try to protest it, You have a better chance of being tasered than changing any law :P

I'm not suggesting anybody "whine" or "steal", I'm saying that if a law is unjust than break it if it's moral and ethical to do so. Stealing is neither of those things, but making a backup copy of a movie you legitimately bought is certainly within the realms of being moral and ethical. And let's face it, nobody's busting down your door for making backups of your movies.

Copyright laws should be used to bust street vendors selling the latest DVD rips for profit, not to bust a company trying to provide a legitimate way for the average joe to make backups of his home movie collection.


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone














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